Fanatec Warranty Behavior
I want to share with you how Fanatec handles customer support and warranties, and generally how they treat their customers. I'll tell you my story, which is quite surreal.
I believe I am a good customer for them, as I have bought in order:
1) Clubsport CSW 2.5
2) Clubsport Pedal V3
3) Clubsport Steering Wheel Formula V2
4) Clubsport universal HUB V1
5) Clubsport Pedal Performance KIT
6) Clubsport steering wheel F1 2021 limited
7) Clubsport Hand Brake
8) Podium DD1 F1
9) Another set of Clubsport Pedal V3
10) Fanatec shifter (used)
My epic journey began with my last order, consisting of the Podium DD1 F1 and the V3 pedals ( with the discounted price ). Like many of you, if you scroll through the forum, I noticed that the Podium was not recognizing the Universal Hub, even though it was obviously compatible with it on the website.
I did a couple of tests with the support guys, who were always kind and competent, unlike the manager who manages them, and we agreed to send both the Podium and the Universal Hub to the company's headquarters for checks. I was hesitant to send the Universal Hub, as it was working perfectly with my CSW 2.5, but I sent it anyway for verification.
After a week, I was told that the problem was fixed and, as reported on my Fanatec account, the problem was found in the wireless QR of the Podium. This made sense, as my Universal Hub was working with the CSW 2.5, but at least we were sure.
I waited another week and the Podium arrived at home. I assembled it and noticed that both the Formula 2.5 and the Universal Hub were recognized without problems, but to my surprise, I discovered that the device made a terrible noise while rotating. Here you can see what happened: https://youtu.be/Kff6Kdg6PEI
I had to start the assistance process again and after several attempts I was told that a new device would be guaranteed as a replacement, so we decided to postpone sending it until after the Christmas holidays.
At the beginning of the new year I shipped it and after a week I was told that the problem had also been identified by their warehouse and that a new podium would be sent to me in a few days. Keep in mind that between my shipment, their tests, and the shipment back, about 2 weeks passed.
The podium arrived a few days ago, it was indeed a new device as promised. I installed it, wired everything perfectly and once I accessed, what happened? Just like the previous podium, It did not recognize the Universal HUB.
In disbelief, I called assistance again (by phone, otherwise by email it would have taken years) and the guys who answered were amazed and sorry for the latest inconvenience and on their own initiative and under my pressure, they told me that they would speak as soon as possible with their manager to find a satisfactory solution.
Do you want to know the manager's solution?
1) Have a refund and they would not have sent me anything anymore, leaving me without a device
2) Send again in Fanatec for the third time both the Podium and my fully Universal Hub for repairs.
I declined to send my working Hub again to them because I need it at least I can use the CSW 2.5. At this point, I sent the device back as DOA (dead on arrival) and I am waiting for them to send me another one, if it does not work again I will send it back again and again until they deign to do serious quality tests on the products they sell.
It's a shame for a company like that, the only ones who are saved are the support guys who try to fix these surreal cases but if the managers they have are like this, there's little to do unfortunately for us and for them.
I hope this message will not be deleted and if required I can post more than 100 emails that we have exchanged in the past two months. Keep this in mind if you decide to buy FANATEC. Excellent products if they work the first time, but if you have to go through the assistance unfortunately it's a shame.
To summarize, I brought the product on November 09 and after 11 week with all the time spent shipment / email / warranty I had the product on my hands only for 4/5 weeks and basically it never works with the Universal Hub ( only when the device was noisy ).
Their customer service is terrible. I received DOA products and they are running out he clock for the return window with no response. Borderline fraudulent and terrible at their best.
Does it happened in EU or in the US?
Also you mentioned that 'The podium arrived a few days ago, it was indeed a new device as promised.'. Was the podium F1 also available for buying or you just received one from darkest corner of the warehouse? I'm trying to buy one since months but never found it available :)
They probably have a lot that they use as spare...
In the meantime I'll update of the status of my issue. At the end we agreed that I'll not send my Universal Hub to them but only my second defective Podium. The agreement was ( from support email):
What we will do is:
We will prepare a NEW unit, we will test this with every product possible to make sure everything works, we will update the unit and make sure there are no Bugs. Once you have send us the wheelbase please send me the shipping receipt so we know that your wheelbase is on the way and once we receive the shipping receipt we will already send you the new wheelbase so that you do not have to wait that long for a working product.
Once again my apologies for this inconvenience and i hope this issue can be resolved so you can enjoy sim racing again.
Did they do it for you? Obviously NO!!!
I sent my product yesterday morning and after another call to the support the assure that they will do it probably tomorrow. So basically the cannot even do what the claim to do in their email.
Shame shame on you!!! What do I need to have my stuff back in working condition?! A lawyer. You guys are lucky that I'm more than 800 km away of you otherwise I'll be at the door instead to write in a forum...
I'll keep you guys updated
"Once you have send us the wheelbase please send me the shipping receipt so we know that your wheelbase is on the way and once we receive the shipping receipt we will already send you the new wheelbase so that you do not have to wait that long for a working product."
I'm surprised they offered to do that. I requested they do the very same thing when I had issues with my CSL DD back in January of last year, and they flat-out refused, telling me that they must receive my wheelbase first before they will ship a new one.
They refuse to me as well at the beginning ( for first two shipments ) but at the third time they accepted.